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The Age of Consequences

A Chronicle of Concern and Hope

List Price: $16.95

January 12, 2016 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 256 Pages | ISBN 9781619026209
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"…White strikes a refreshing tone that will resonate with readers turned off by the superior or condescending attitudes of some environmentalist writers.…Throughout, he balances abstract questions and ideas with tangible life experiences.…readers will be engaged by his frank and thoughtful discussion of our modern environment." —Kirkus

Our planet is approaching a critical environmental juncture. Across the globe we continue to deplete the five pools of carbon—soil, wood, coal, oil, and natural gas—at an unsustainable rate. We’ve burned up half the planet’s known reserves of oil—one trillion barrels—in less than a century. When these sources of energy-rich carbon go into severe decline, as they surely will, society will follow.

Former archeologist and Sierra Club activist Courtney White calls this moment the Age of Consequences—a time when the worrying consequences of our environmental actions—or inaction—have begun to raise unavoidable and difficult questions. How should we respond? What are effective (and realistic) solutions?

In exploring these questions, White draws on his formidable experience as an environmentalist and activist as well as his experience as a father to two children living through this vital moment in time. As a result, The Age of Consequences is a book of ideas and action, but it is also a chronicle of personal experience. Readers follow White as he travels the country—from Kansas to Los Angeles, New York City, Italy, France, Yellowstone, and New England. Along the way he recounts stories of Amish farmers in Ohio, cattle ranchers in the Southwest, creek restorationists in New Mexico, local food entrepreneurs in Arizona, and carbon pioneers in Australia. Their stories inform and entertain, but they also reveal encouraging and hopeful answers to anguished questions about our collective future, including issues of sustainability, climate change mitigation, resilience, land health, collaborative conservation, ecological restoration, and regenerative agriculture.

The Age of Consequences is an engaging and informative look at our current environmental predicament, as well as an important contribution to the growing body of environmental literature by writers such as Wallace Stegner, Wendell Berry, Barbara Kingsolver, Bill McKibben and E.O. Wilson, and Michael Pollan. For fans of Paul Hawken’s Blessed Unrest and Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field Notes of a Catastrophe.

COURTNEY WHITE is  former archaeologist, environmental activist, and the co-found the Quivira Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to building bridges between ranchers, conservationists, public land managers, scientists and others around practices that improve land health. Today, his conservation work focuses on building economic and ecological resilience on working landscapes, with a special emphasis on carbon ranching and the new agrarian movement. He is the author of Revolution on the Range: the Rise of a New Ranch in the American West and Grass, Soil, Hope: a Journey through Carbon Country. He lives in Santa Fe, NM.

WENDELL BERRY is the author of over fifty books of poetry, fiction, and essays. He lives with his wife in Kentucky.

Praise

Age of Consequences admirably shows how ranching and farming, when done right, can be not only profitable, but can heal land and people at the same time.” —Weekly Alibi

The Age of Consequences brims with upbeat energy and admits virtually no limits to what the ingenuity of concerned humans can accomplish. In its pages, White looks catastrophe squarely in the face and refuses to cede defeat. In these dark environmental times, that’s an invigorating thing in itself, regardless of any likely outcomes.” —Open Letters Monthly

“Courtney White has lived and worked at the radical center of collaborative conservation in the West for more than two decades, literally reshaping dialogue and land stewardship in the region through his innovations. But with this book Courtney demonstrates that his own essays on these concerns can rightfully take its place alongside Scott Russell Sanders, Peter Forbes, Richard Nelson and Wendell Berry for its eloquence, depth and lasting impact on the conservation movement.” —Gary Nabhan, Ph.D., author of Chasing Chiles

“…White strikes a refreshing tone that will resonate with readers turned off by the superior or condescending attitudes of some environmentalist writers.…Throughout, he balances abstract questions and ideas with tangible life experiences.…readers will be engaged by his frank and thoughtful discussion of our modern environment.” —Kirkus

“White’s considerable insight emphasizes the need to save ‘a diminished world’ before the point of no return.” —Publishers Weekly

“…a series of deeply personal essays that cogently examine pertinent issues from both grassroots and global perspectives. With a tone that is predominantly upbeat yet tempered by the intensely personal concerns of a parent, White offers specific examples of beneficial strategies that can mitigate present conditions and secure future successes.” —Booklist

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